chain ( chains plural & 3rd person present) ( chaining present participle) ( chained past tense & past participle )
1 n-count A chain consists of metal rings connected together in a line.
His open shirt revealed a fat gold chain..., The dogs were leaping and growling at the full stretch of their chains.
2 n-plural If prisoners are in chains, they have thick rings of metal round their wrists or ankles to prevent them from escaping.
He'd spent four and a half years in windowless cells, much of the time in chains.
3 verb If a person or thing is chainedto something, they are fastened to it with a chain.
The dog was chained to the leg of the one solid garden seat... be V-ed to n
She chained her bike to the railings... V n to n
We were sitting together in our cell, chained to the wall. V-ed, Also V n adv/prep
Chain up means the same as chain., phrasal verb
I'll lock the doors and chain you up... V n P
All the rowing boats were chained up. V-ed P, Also V P n (not pron)
4 n-count A chain of things is a group of them existing or arranged in a line.
N of n
...a chain of islands known as the Windward Islands..., Students tried to form a human chain around the parliament.
5 n-count A chainof shops, hotels, or other businesses is a number of them owned by the same person or company.
...a large supermarket chain., ...Italy's leading chain of cinemas.
6 n-sing A chain of events is a series of them happening one after another.
N of n
...the bizarre chain of events that led to his departure in January 1938.
food chain chain up →
chain gang ( chain gangs plural ) In the United States, a chain gang is a group of prisoners who are chained together to do work outside their prison. Chain gangs existed especially in former times. n-count
chain letter ( chain letters plural ) A chain letter is a letter, often with a promise of money, that is sent to several people who send copies on to several more people. Chain letters are illegal in some countries. n-count
Chain mail is a kind of armour made from small metal rings joined together so that they look like cloth. n-uncount
chain reaction ( chain reactions plural )
1 n-count A chain reaction is a series of chemical changes, each of which causes the next.
2 n-count A chain reaction is a series of events, each of which causes the next.
The powder immediately ignited and set off a chain reaction of explosions.
chain saw ( chain saws plural ) , chainsaw A chain saw is a big saw with teeth fixed in a chain that is driven round by a motor. n-count
chain-smoke ( chain-smokes 3rd person present) ( chain-smoking present participle) ( chain-smoked past tense & past participle ) Someone who chain-smokes smokes cigarettes or cigars continuously. verb
Melissa had chain-smoked all evening while she waited for a phone call from Tom. V, Also V n
chain-smoker ( chain-smokers plural ) , chain smoker A chain-smoker is a person who chain-smokes. n-count
chain store ( chain stores plural ) , chain-store A chain store is one of several similar shops that are owned by the same person or company, especially one that sells a variety of things. n-count
daisy chain ( daisy chains plural ) , daisy-chain A daisy chain is a string of daisies that have been joined together by their stems to make a necklace.
(mainly BRIT) n-count
food chain ( food chains plural ) Thefood chain is a series of living things which are linked to each other because each thing feeds on the one next to it in the series. n-count usu sing
The whole food chain is affected by the over use of chemicals in agriculture.